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  • Workshop: The Myth of Disenchantment

    The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of Religious Studies

    Workshop with Jason Ānanda Josephson (Williams College, USA) and Helmut Zander (Université Fribourg, Switzerland)

    Tuesday, 7 June 2016, 16:00 s.t.–18:00, KJC, Room 112


    While many of the old master narratives have been unraveling, it is still frequently assumed that the defining feature of modernity is the departure of the supernatural. Yet, the human sciences, including Religious Studies, emerged as academic disciplines almost simultaneously with a fascination with “magical” knowledge and the spirits of the dead. Indeed, it may be argued that the founding figures of Religious Studies were not only aware of, but profoundly enmeshed in the occult milieu, such that the very objects of concern, methods, and even self-definition of the human sciences still bear the marks of this important early encounter with esotericism. In this workshop, we will discuss these issues based on a chapter focusing on E.B. Tylor, Éliphas Lévi, Max Müller, and Helena Blavatsky from a book manuscript kindly provided by Jason Ānanda Josephson.

    Organization: Hans Martin Krämer